07 March 2006

What Jesus Christ Said About Gay Men

For centuries, Conservative church leaders have pointed to Bible scriptures that condemn homosexuality. Their condemnations seem to grow ever more virulent with time. Gay-friendly theologians struggle to respond. They say as defense, "Jesus never said anything about Gay men."

But He did! Oh, yes, he did. Can all the preachers be blind to it? Or are they simply in denial? The text is right there in the book of Matthew. Here is the scripture, taken from the wonderful Good News Bible, published in 1966 by Thomas Nelson, Incorporated. Ponder it. Let it illuminate your mind!

MATTHEW 19:9-12
(Jesus Christ said)"I tell you then that any man who divorces his wife, and she has not been unfaithful, commits adultery if he marries some other woman." His disciples said to him: "If this is the way it is between a man and his wife, it is better not to marry!" Jesus answered: "This teaching does not apply to everyone, but only to those to whom God has given it. For there are different reasons why men cannot marry. Some, because they were born that way. Others, because men made them that way; and others do not marry because of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let him who can do it accept this teaching."

Within this profound verse . . . I'm close to tears as I write about it . . . is God's recognition of Gay men. Born that way? Who could Jesus Christ have been speaking about except for Gay men? How long in the history of the world, when seeking to explain to others who don't understand, have Lesbians and Gay men insisted: "I was born that way?" The phrase is Biblical! It comes directly from our Lord and Savior!

I'm told that the passage about men making other men "that way" refers to the barbaric ancient practice of making men eunuchs by castrating them. The passage about men who don't marry because of the Kingdom of Heaven refers either to men who choose celibacy or who understand that marriage does not exist in Heaven(more about this fact later). But the observation about men who are "born that way" is quite obviously about Gay men. And I believe the Christ spoke with a deeply personal knowledge of what being "born that way" meant.

It can be argued that marriage between men might not be Christian, depending on how you interpret this passage. But it cannot be argued that being Gay is wrong! It is not a sin! Don't listen to what the Conservative theologians say. Don't pay attention to pronouncements against homosexuality from other Biblical figures. Listen to what Jesus Christ said! He is the One whose teachings we follow. He did not condemn Gay men . . . and you'd best believe that He would have had He intended to!

You do not have to "change!" You do not have to go and join a misguided group like Exodus Ministries. You exist in the world because Jesus Christ says that you do. Go and tell the world about this! And be heartened, too, because this is not the only Biblical evidence of the Christ's love and acceptance of His homosexual followers.

2 comments:

  1. Sir,
    For what reason did you select the "Good News" translation for your citation? Over the course of the last few minutes I have consulted the KJV, NKJV, RSV, and NASB and none of those provide a translation which conforms to your proposal that Jesus admits some men were born gay. I did not consulte other translations for the purpose of challenging your hypothesis, but rather to give it some validity. What makes the "Good News" more reputable than these others? (based upon recommendations from several theologians who I personally know, I the RSV or NASB to be the most correctly translated English versions)

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  2. At the time I wrote this essay, my primary reference was the Good News Bible. I've since replaced it with the New Revised Standard Version of the New Oxford Annotated Bible; I agree with you that the Good News translation isn't as clear as it should be. However, the use of the word "eunuchs" in the Oxford (and other) translations confirms my belief that Jesus Christ was referring to what we would call Gay men in the 19th chapter of Matthew. The term "gay" was certainly not in use at that time, so he'd have been obliged to use a word that had currency. In the ancient world, the status of eunuch definitely carried a homosexual stigma.

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